Royal Potato Family
Call me late to the game, but I first became aware of Alabama native Grayson Capps on the debut Willie Sugarcapps album in 2013. That record, a “southern roots supergroup” featured Capps along with Sugarcane Jane (Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford), Will Kimbrough and guitarist Corky Hughes. Born out of fruitful jam sessions at The Frog Pond in Alabama, the record was a sublime example of players coming together and creating magic.
Magic that Capps, along with Sugarcapps guitarist Hughes, have summoned on Scarlett Roses. Starting off with the title cut, Capps settles into a groove that never falters among the albums 9 cuts. The record seems geared to live performance, such as the intoxicating “Bag of Weed” whose chorus – “I’ve got a bag of weed, a case of beer/A little George Dickel, some American Spirits/Spending the night out in the woods/Hope it might do me some good” – sounds tailor-made for a festival sing-along.
There is a strong undercurrent of hippie vibes here, from the title of the record to moments such as the lazy funk of “Thankful” but near the end of the record, Hughes lets it rip on rockers such as “Taos” or screaming slide-infested “Hit ‘Em Up Julie”, which sounds somewhat like a lost Creedence cut – infectious. All along, Grayson Capps sounds completely loose, and with his Grammy Award-winning producer (and wife) Trina Shoemaker manning the board, Scarlett Roses is a deep, tuneful, and brilliant sounding effort. Damn this is some good stuff.